Congratulations this month goes to Tim Williams (FEP Username: 1979indypacecar
) and his 1979 Mustang Indy Pace Car. Tim is the original owner of his Pace Car and the story began back in October of 1979. October 9, 1979 to be exact was the day in Waynesburg Pennsylvania when Tim drove by Fox Ford and saw this particular Pace Car sitting in the showroom. Tim new immediately he had to have it and who wouldnít blame him, the Pace Car had the 2.3 Turbocharged engine, TRX suspension package, Recaro seats, and of course the unique Pace Car paint and decals. Tim was 22 years old at the time, had just landed his first real job so he decided it was time to trade in his 1967 Volkswagen Beetle on a new ride. Tim worked a deal with the Salesman and although they didnít want his trusty Beetle as a trade in, Tim was able to afford the monthly payment and a few days later the Pace Car was his very own.
Tim drove the Mustang like he had stolen it, just like many of us in our early twenties have. It was a daily driver to get to work, to finish college, and required for dating. It was reliable and never left Tim stranded. The Mustang survived Tim getting married, moving, moving again, then buying a house. It was used as a moving truck through many of those adventures, but luckily was never wrecked or damaged. Finally in 1988 with 140,000 fun filled miles on the odometer the Pace Car was parked in the garage for a well-deserved rest. Life went on for Tim and family as it so often does with other cars and trucks, but none lasted like his Mustang. Every year Tim would start it up, take it for a short drive, and park it again. The Mustang was eventually parked in the barn where it rested for quite a few years.
The year was 2001, the kids were out of college, and Tim knew it was time to get the oleí Mustang back on the road. Tim had his own personal barn find in his own back yard, no searching was necessary. Tim took a battery out of his truck, rigged up a small 1 gallon gas can to feed the 2.3 Turbo and after about an hour of tinkering the Mustang fired back to life for the first time in many years. The Pace Car headed straight to the garage for some long needed TLC. Timís plan all along was to keep it as original as possible . . . except for the engine.
For everyone that has seen an original 2.3 Turbo and the 4 miles of vacuum tubing on it, understands that Tim wanted to clean that up and improve not only the performance, but the visual appeal of the his trusty steed. So after plenty of research, talking to people, and visiting Four Eyed Pride Forums Tim came up with a game plan for the engine. Tim found a local speed shop to help with the engine rebuild that consisted of a .030 over bore, Wiseco 8:1 pistons, Crower rods, stainless steel valves, Bo-Port Stage 1.9 roller cam, and ARP hardware everywhere. Original Tim was going to stay with the blow thru carburetor setup, but ultimately decided that EFI was the better choice. Converting to EFI proved to be the biggest challenge Tim faced first using a LA3 ECU, but ultimately he went to the PIMP ECU and has never looked back. The first fuel injected 2.3 Turbo combo cranked out 260 HP on the dyno with the old LA3 ECU and only 8 lbs of boost, but Tim hasnít had had a chance to dyno the new combo with the PIMP and its better control at higher boost levels.
Thanks to many years of care and waxing the exterior of the Pace Car is in excellent shape and has allowed Tim to keep it all original including the decals. The suspension, although had some miles on it, so Tim decided to replace the majority of the suspension pieces, bushings, as well as brakes, lines, and cables. To complete the look Tim has kept the iconic TRX wheels as tires.
Timís Pace Car is mainly used as a Sunday Driver to the various car shows in southwest Pennsylvania which always puts a big smile on his face. Hopefully someday in the near future the Mustang will be in the shows rather than just checking them out. Tim also states that the Pace Car has been extremely lucky car for him throughout its life. It has never been wrecked or broken down on the road since new. The Mustang has survived a hail storm with 1Ē diameter hail without any damage or even a single dent. One day while using it as his daily driver, Tim stopped by his apartment to run inside and grab something. As soon as Tim was inside he heard some strange noises from outside the apartment. Sure enough, he looked out the window and the Pace Car was gone! Yep, you guessed it, he left the car in neutral and didnít set the emergency brake. Tim ran down the stairs to find that the Mustang had rolled backwards 150 feet, across a two lane road, and came to rest beside the front porch of a house. By the time Tim reached the car, the home owners were outside looking at the driverless Mustang. Tim explained what had happened and began to assess the damage. Shockingly the passenger side of the Mustang was no more than 6 inches from the edge of the porch and the driver side was less than 12 inches from about 500 red bricks. Neither side had a scratch, but the rear bumper cover had about a 1Ē scrap on the black paint due to the old wire fence the Mustang had finally come to rest against. Tim had to climb through the driver side window to get back in the car and with the help of a couple of guys was able to carefully drive the car out of the yard following the tire tracks the Mustang made just minutes earlier. What a lucky owner and what a lucky Mustang!
Thanks once again to Tim and his 1979 Mustang Pace Car for taking the time to share his prized ride and story with the FEP members. Everyone at FEP wishes Tim many more happy years and miles of ownership. Some people have a lucky horseshoe, Tim has one lucky Mustang and we hope his unbelievable luck continues for years to come.